Running between things

This morning I went out and put in a hard run; I had an invite to a track session last night and couldn’t make it, so I tried doing it on my own around Marina Bay. Afterwards, I was quite glad not to have been at the track.

The session called for 15 minutes at slightly slower than 400m repeat pace, followed by 3 minutes recovery, then another 10 minutes, then 2 minutes recovery, then 5 minutes. I can bash out 12 400 metre repeats at around 90 seconds each, so that called for doing about 4 minute kilometers, which would be very impressive as I’ve never approached a 20 minute 5k.

I lumbered off, and after warming up with a jog to the river, set to. I could only manage about 4:25 pace, and by the final five minutes even that had slipped, leaving me wondering if I’d gone mad and totally misinterpreted what the session instructions had been. I walked home, feeling ready for death, but with another day of a conference to attend, when I really wanted to sleep.

The second day was again, a mixed bag. The first presentation was from CERN, the second was my friend Gary Jackson presenting on his 2010 case of swine flu and how that related to technology, and then there was a fascinating presentation by a hospital IT administrator from Singapore, which made me realize how lucky in my career I’ve been to have all the technology I’ve wanted, and not be beset by all sorts of issues with having to support Enterprise Resource Planning and somebody else’s spreadsheets. There was a presentation on distributing distributed computing (which appeared mind-blowing, if you hadn’t previously encountered iteration, I guess) and then in the afternoon I got to do my presentation, after a truly big data display from a petrochemical company.

I really enjoyed presenting to a big audience. I don’t often get the chance to do so, and I always have the worry that I’m some sort of imposter who is going to be revealed as a feckless dilettante, but I made people laugh and I also displayed an enormous picture of my face. On several different slides of my presentation.

Much of what I do is secretive; the things I can talk about often aren’t interesting, and the interesting things I can’t talk about, but there’s enough that I can at least show off some of the customer facing work the company does. It would be nice to talk about the things I’ve built myself, but some of that could get me into trouble for disclosing sensitive information, so I keep my mouth shut. Nobody minded: there’s enough to ridicule within the sphere of data that I could keep talking for ages, particularly when Gary and I started going back and forth in the closing Q&A. And then I had to sprint back to the office for a couple of mysteriously materializing job interviews, which, after this morning’s run, I really didn’t want to move fast for.

My new compression socks have just arrived. I’m glad I didn’t wear them for the interviews, although I suppose they might have been a good filter for something.


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